After more than a decade, The Walking Dead is finally ready to rest. As Deadline notes, the long-running horror series will come to an end in 2022 after an expanded 11th season. But just as one zombie falls only to be replaced by another, so does a new spin-off of The Walking Dead stumble on in the show’s place. The new untitled series will star Norman Reedus’ Daryl and Melissa McBride’s Carol, and is expected to debut in 2023. An anthology series, Tales of the Walking Dead, is also in the works.
Created in 2010 by Frank Darabont and based on the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead revolutionized blockbuster television a year before the debut of Game of Thrones. In its first few years, TWD emerged as a ratings juggernaut and nabbed a couple of Emmys for Outstanding Makeup. But recent seasons have seen declining ratings and departing stars, and then the comic series came to an end last year. The decision to move on from the flagship program hardly comes as a surprise.
The coronavirus pandemic had already interrupted production on Season 10, pushing the season finale back to October 4th. Still, the wait will be worth it for devoted Deadheads, as Season 10 will be expanded with six additional bonus episodes. As if that weren’t enough, Season 11 comes packed with 24 episodes of undead entertainment. For those not counting along at home, that means that there are 31 more episodes of The Walking Dead set to air between now and the series’ end in 2022.
Meanwhile, the new, untitled spin-off starring Daryl and Carol was created by current TWD showrunner Angela Kang and chief Dead content officer Scott M. Gimple. In a statement, Melissa McBride explained what the role of Carol has meant to her so far, and what excites her about the new direction. She said,
“Of course, I’ve always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons. In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I’ve also long been intrigued with ‘Daryl and Carol,’ and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound. Their shared history is long, and each’s own personal fight to survive, even longer — the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal. But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I’m very curious! Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She’s like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I’m very excited!”
Finally, Gimple is developing the new anthology series Tales of the Walking Dead. These standalone episodes will bring in new characters as well as diving into the stories of old favorites. The timeline is not expected to be linear, and it’s possible that some of the many dead characters from TWD will find another life in these Tales.
The new shows join a crowded horde of spin-offs including Fear the Walking Dead, which is soon to enter its sixth season, the Y.A.-leaning The Walking Dead: The World Beyond, set to debut next month, and a movie series starring original TWD star Andrew Lincoln.
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